Back in December we wrote about The Ontaneda Family. This is a family of 10 that Pan de Vida has been spiritually investing in since 2008, when they first attended Pan de Vida. The Ontaneda’s were living in a 20 sq meter (215 sq foot) room with all 10 family members ranging from 6 months of age to 21 years of age. In addition to the challenges of raising a family that large, they have two children with special needs, Mikaela, their 9 year old, who has a significant intelligence disability and Martin, their 5 year old, who has behavioral issues and aggressive behavior.
The ten of them shared a set of bunk beds to sleep on. No table, no dishes, no chairs. Food sources were inadequate for this family. Ms. Ontaneda receives some educational support for her children from the government of Ecuador, and makes about $40 a week by cleaning homes, washing clothes, or selling candies with her oldest daughter. The rent was $50 a month that covered the room, water, and electricity. They share a bathroom with another family. The fathers of her children do not provide any financial support. The risks of her children being hurt, abused, dropping out of school, and getting involved in the wrong kinds of crowds is very high.
Pan de Vida has stepped in to help this family through a variety of ways. Through food bags, school supplies, medical assistance, mentoring, prayer. We have tried to have her son see a psychologist, but with the need to provide food and shelter for her family, Ms. Ontaneda is faced with a difficult choice of working or helping her son. Back in November we did a Hit Squad to move them from their small one room home to a small apartment of a relative that allowed the family to live more comfortably until they could build an apartment on an area given by their grandmother. In January we had a team go out to build the structure of this new home.
On April 9th we organized a third Hit Squad to continue to build the apartment. We put together a team partnering with Iglesia La Fuente to work on plastering the walls, putting in electrical and piping for the bathroom and kitchen. To date we have invested around: $3,700.00 to help them have more humane living conditions.
Pan de Vida reaches out to families in two ways. Helping with the very real physical needs a family has as well as their spiritual needs. The investment we have made has made a difference!
A few things happened that brought change this family. The biggest changing point for them came about when their oldest daughter, Gabriela, started attending our Girls of the Holy Life program. Since then she has started to attend one of our local partner churches that volunteers at Pan de Vida, Iglesia de La Fuente. On February the 9th, Gaby decided to get baptized! Praise the Lord!
At the same time, Ms. Ontaneda’s 18 year old daughter, Valeria, ran away from home after not being able to bear the burden of their crowded conditions. She started to hook up with persons who were not influencing her well. After much prayer, she has since returned home and started to go to La Fuente church. Furthermore, to God’s glory, Valeria accepted Jesus in their heart. Since then Gaby and Valeria are not the same. Their mother testifies that they have experienced a positive change. Gladys, their mom, goes occasionally to church. We continue to pray for the salvation of the entire family.
Pan de Vida continues to work with our partners, donors, volunteers, and Iglesia de La Fuente to minister to this family. We continue to need resources to be able to provide them, as well as many other families like them, with food bags, medical assistance, Biblical counseling and mentoring.
Please consider supporting Pan de Vida with your tax deductible donation so we can continue to reach out to more families such as this one. Interested in bringing a missions team down, doing an internship, or being a part of Pan de Vida’s long term mission team? Contact us!